Aug 31, 2016
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The Richmond Art Center’s major exhibition celebrating its 80th Anniversary features Stanford University colleagues who once shared a teacher/student relationship — and how their works connect.

Making Our Mark, which opens Sept. 13 and runs through Nov. 12, showcases recent works by artists Enrique Chagoya and Yvette Deas that address cultural appropriation and societal misrepresentation. Chagoya was Deas’ teacher at Stanford and now the two are colleagues who both continue to make their mark in the art world.

Chagoya is an established painter and print-maker whose works have been held in collections nationwide, and whose experiences on both sides of the U.S.-Mexican borders influences his art. His recent work has addressed issues on immigration and the economic recession.

Deas is a figurative painter who grew up in the family business of acting and went on to fly airplanes and to teach flying before earning her MFA at Stanford. Some of her art is known to examine and juxtapose what individuals exhibit to the world about themselves with what they keep private.

“In Chagoya’s Untitled (After Yves St. Laurent) — posted aboveand in Deas’ American Pie — posted belowthe viewer is arrested by work which magnifies actions and sharply directs attention to the very meaning of fashion, entertainment, and art as freely appropriating culture and subverting historical truth,” according to a Richmond Art Center statement about the show.


Jan Wurm, director of exhibitions, says Chagoya’s and Deas’ works share a “finely tuned sense of verbal and visual language, social constructs and culture” and are made more accessible to viewers through their pop culture influences.

As part of their exhibition, Chagoya and Deas will participate in one of the Making Our Mark Artists’ Talks in the Art Center’s Main Gallery on Saturday, Nov. 5 at 3 p.m. For more information on the free talk, please visit here.

As we reported back in July, the Art Center plans to compliment the teacher/student, generational artist theme in an accompanying exhibit. As part of the Making Our Mark, other established artists were invited introduce not only their works but also the works of younger artists they have mentored. Also running from Sept. 13 through Nov. 12, the exhibit reflects the Art Center’s “history and mission — to give voice to new artists and open the galleries to new visions.” An opening reception for the exhibit will take place from 5-7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 10. More info here.

These are just some events linked to the 80th Anniversary of the Richmond Art Center. The Art Cener originated in 1936 when founder and local artist Hazel Salmi traversed the city’s streets with a suitcase packed with art supplies, eager to teach art to anyone interested. It now features the works of emerging local artists and has professional artists teaching their craft to thousands of local youth.

On Oct. 1, the Art Center will hold its 80th Anniversary Gala, along with a community celebration for its anniversary on Oct. 15. To learn more about the gala celebration, visit here. Stay tuned for future reports about these events in the Richmond Standard.

Image credit: Top: Enrique Chagoya, Untitled (after Yves Saint Laurent), Color etching, 2016, Edition: 12, Publisher: Magnolia Editions, Courtesy of Magnolia Editions and the Artist.

Middle: Yvette Deas, American Pie, Mixed media on panel, 2008, Courtesy of the Artist


About the Author

Mike Aldax is the editor of the Richmond Standard. He has 13 years of journalism experience, most recently as a reporter for the San Francisco Examiner. He previously held roles as reporter and editor at Bay City News, Napa Valley Register, Garden Island Newspaper in Kaua’i, and the Queens Courier in New York City.